Several people in the Bangor area killed a rabid thug with their bare hands last weekend, and public health officials are seeking public help in identifying those who may have handled it. You probably need rabies shots after exposure.
The living bat was found near the Shaw House, the youth home on Union and First Road, which is the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. On 16 and 17 March, it was passed on to several people in several places in the area of Bangor, who acted with their bare hands.
Ann Rivers, director of the Acadia Wildlife Foundation at Bar Harbor, was involved in the search for the 1
After the bat was killed, it was tested positive for rabies at the Maine Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory. There is a risk of rabies in persons who have had direct skin contact with the bat and were not wearing gloves or a cloth or other barrier.
Only those who handle the bat with their bare hands are at risk of rabies. In the area where the bat was found, there is no risk for those who have not touched the animal.
Bats that show unusual behavior – including being easily addressed, active during the day, or unable to fly Rabies infection, according to Maine CDC. Most bats do not have rabies.
Rivers said Friday that only one in 10,000 bats gets rabies. Bats contract the virus by being bitten by a rabid animal. Injured bats and bats found in homes are often dropped off at the foundation.
"This is the first case of rabies in a bat I've seen in 30 years," she said. "Bats can be picked up safely when people wear gloves."
Rivers said it was difficult to find the people who dealt with the bat because they believe they are part of the Bangor homeless community. Churches that offer free meals once a week were called upon to find people who had dealt with the animal.
Rabies is deadly, but can be treated immediately after exposure. Individuals who had direct skin contact with the bat should start rabies prophylaxis as soon as possible, said the CDC in Maine. The treatment includes two injections: one with human rabies immunoglobulin and the rabies vaccine.
Rivers said that people may be treated for free.
Rabies spreads when infected animals bite or scratch another animal or a person. The virus can also spread if saliva or tissue from the brain or spinal cord gets into the broken skin, mouth, nose or eyes.
In order to prevent the spread of rabies, the CDC recommends that people never touch a wild animal or wild animal any unknown animal.
The CDC demands that those who had direct skin contact with a bat in the Bangor area on the weekend of March 16 and 17 address their doctor to discuss the risks and decide if they will be treated have to . You can also call the CDC at 800-821-5821.
People who find injured bats or other animals may seek advice from Rivers at 207-288-4960.